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In lieu of this, from short and bitter night,
His fellow-labourers (playmates hath he none)
THE MECHANIC'S SATURDAY NIGHT.
Now my wife and children let's be gay;
Six days I've toild, and now we meet
Come ye, who form my dear fireside-
To-morrow's dawn brings blessings, peace,
For this and every blessing given,
Sweet's the tranquillity of heart
Thus shall the day, as God designed,
Teutamen Anti-Straussianum. The Antiquity of the Gospels As
serted, on Philological Grounds, in Refutation of the Mythic Scheme of Dr. David Frederick Strauss. An Argument, by Orlando T. Dobbin, LL.D., Trinity College, Dublin. Pp. 113
Ward & Co., 27, Paternoster-row. This is a remarkable little book, distinguished at once by clearness, precision, candour, and learning. It is earnest in tone, and liberal in spirit. In conducting his Argument the author mani. fests the same “remorseless logic" that has generally been attributed to his opponent, only, unlike the latter, he builds his wellarranged and symmetrical structure, not on fanciful conjecture or bold assumption, but on an unquestioned and unquestionable fact. He presents us not merely with the forms of reasoning—the links of argumentation in unbroken succession, but the premises on which they depend; the ground from which he starts is firm and impregnable.
The fundamental idea of Strauss's system is the remote composition of the Gospels from the date of the events they describe a remoteness so great as to allow the garniture and drapery of fiction to be thrown, without detection, around the slender form of reality and truth connected therewith. This foundation of the Straussian scheme—this ground-work of the hazy and poetic speculations of the Mythists, Dr. Dobbin seeks to cut away, by proving from internal evidence that the Gospels must have been written by contemporaries of the events recorded in them.
The fact on which the author's Argument is based, is the peculiar and distinctive usage in the name by which the Saviour is designated in the Gospels and Epistles respectively.
In the Gospels the general though not invariable usage is, to designate the Saviour by the proper name Jesus: in the Epistles the general though not invariable usage is, to designate him by his official title Christ. In both cases the usage named is so habitual as to clearly mark each series of books, however indivi.
dually different, in many respects from each other, as belonging in this respect to two distinct classes. From this fact the author argues that the Gospels must have been written at an earlier date than the Epistles ; first, because the Epistolary usage is that which is found to prevail in the annals of the Church, from the last book of canonical Scripture down to the end of the fourth century; and secondly, because, according to the ordinary process of nomenclature, the simple and exclusive proper name must have preceded that of the surname or the title. He further shows, from the broad facts of the Sacred Writings themselves, that the term Christian was extensively applied to the followers of Jesus at a very early period, and he contends that as the Gospels must have been written anterior to such period, their composition is thus brought so near to the time of the events they describe, as to preclude the possibility of the Mythic theory.
Each branch of the Argument is clearly brought out and well supported, and we cordially recommend the work to the attentive perusal of the Christian Inquirer.
Dr. Beard's Dictionary of the Bible. The following Circular has been issued in favour of this valuable work, and it gives us great pleasure to hear that upwards of seventy copies have been subscribed for in the locality named : “SOUTHERN UNITARIAN SOCIETY.-We, theundersigned Ministers, connected with the Society of Unitarian Christians established in the South of England for promoting the Genuine Knowledge of the Scripturessíand
the Practice of Virtue, by the Distribution of Books,'-believing that • Dr. Beard's Dictionary of the Bible’ is admirably calculated to promote the cause of biblical learning and rational piety, and to be especially adapted to excite an interest in the perusal of the Scriptures among the young, and having now been able to form a more accurate opinion of its merits from the parts already published,- beg leave, earnestly and respectfully, to recommend the work to the attention of those desirous of becoming better acquainted with the meaning and contents of the Sacred Volume. John Fullagar, Chichester; Henry Hawkes, Portsmouth; William Hughes, Witcombe, Isle of Wight; Edwin Chapman, Mead Row, Godalming; Maxwell Davidson, Billingshurst; John Cropper, Wareham ; Mark Rowntree, Poole; Porter Orr, Ringwood; Thomas Foster, Portsmouth; Edmund Kell, Newport, Isle of Wight, Secretary of the Southern Unitarian Society. Names of Subscribers will be received by any of the above Ministers, or the Numbers of the work may be obtained through any of the regular booksellers."
THE BELFAST ANNUAL MEETING
Was held on Monday evening, Dec. 1st, in the Gymnasium, and, notwithstanding the great severity of the weather, the attendance was more numerous than we remember before to have seen it.
Joan ROBERTS, Esq., of Colin, presided. The meeting was commenced by prayer, by the Rev. C. J. M'ALESTER.
Mr. SEED, the secretary of the society, then read to the meeting letters of apology from the Rev. H. Alexander of Newry; the Rev. Fletcher Blakely, of Moneyrea ; and J. Thompson Tennent, Esq.
Mr. Seed next read the report of the society for the past year.
M. ANDREWS, Esq., of Ardoyne, then submitted to the meeting the financial statement of the society.
Dr. MARSHALL briefly moved the adoption of the report, and that the accounts read be received. He had great pleasure in moving that resolution. The only subject of regret that occurred to him was the cessation of the Bible Christian. It was rather a disgrace to their body that that valuable and unassuming little publication should cease. It was not only important to himself, but it diffused Bible intelligence widely; and its influence was particularly felt in the country districts. He would be willing to aid in keeping it up as far as it was in his power.
J. DUNVILLE, Esq., said he perfectly agreed in what had fallen from Dr. Marshall. He thought it a disgrace to their body that that publication should be allowed to cease, and, for his own part, he would give double or treble the amount of subscription towards it that he had been in the habit of giving; and he hoped the Committee now to be appointed would consider the matter.
Mr. PORTER then, in reference to the Bible Christian, said he was not without some expectation, when the Committee intro. duced the mention of their purpose to discontinue the publication of that periodical, that some person would step forward to deprecate the measure. He was happy that such a result had occurred. He thought that that work had been exceedingly useful, and that nothing but an absolute necessity would have compelled the Committee to contemplate the change referred to.
Dr. MONTGOMERY said he would pledge himself to give aid to the Bible Christian in a greater degree than he had done.
Mr. DUNVILLE afterwards moved a vote of thanks to the Rev. Dr. Montgomery, for the sermons preached by him, on the previous day, in aid of the society.
The motion was seconded by Dr. BURDEN.
The Rev. John Scott PORTER expressed himself in terms of the highest admiration of the discourses in question; and said that he would give, himself, a couple of guineas towards the bringing of them before the public.
Dr. MONTGOMERY said he felt gratified that his late orations
had met with the approbation of his friends ; not, though, without a feeling of imperfection. They were to advocate, in every Church, the men who maintained liberty of conscience. He had not the slightest doubt that their religion would flourish; and he was convinced, that, in fifty or a hundred years, Unitarianism would be the prevailing religion of these countries. Of that he had no more doubt than he had that he should leave that house that night, under the Providence of God.
The next resolution, which was moved by R. PATTERSON, Esq., and seconded by W. HARTLEY, Esq., referred to the aspect of the present times, as calling on the friends of religious liberty and truth to make renewed efforts for their advancement.
Mr. ALLEN briefly seconded the resolution.
MR. ANDREWS then moved, and Mr. HYNDMAN seconded a resolution expressive of thanks to those ministers who had kindly supplied the congregations of Strabane and Ballymena while under the charge of the Committee. The Rev. GEORGE HILL acknowledged the thanks thus conveyed to himself and the other ministers who had given their services. He said that he would be most happy on any occasion to give them his humble assistance; and he knew he might say the same thing for his brethren. He had hoped to receive a commission from them this evening to supply some new station. The time had arrived, when a universal movement should be made to spread the truth ; and he could not help deploring the timidity which seemed to characterise the Unitarians, as if they wanted the power to do good: such timidity they should not have.
The Rev. John Scott PORTER moved the next resolution, which was in reference to the contemplated cessation of the publication of the Bible Christian. There was no person there who could be unaware of the importance of a well-conducted press. Information, in past times, was communicated orally--in the lecture-room-at the University-by addresses from the pulpit. Books were scarce; and, even if they had been attainable at the time, they would not have been so useful as they were now. Partly, however, through the exertions of education societies, and partly through the liberal and enlightened policy of the Govern. ment, a generation had grown up, every individual of which has had the means of instruction put within his reach; and, at the present time, there were few who were not desirous of obtaining information by reading. The political speaker could do much; but his labours would be comparatively confined, if he had pot the newspapers to take him up, and report him fairly. He esteemed a well-conducted periodical work as of the utmost value to them. The Bible Christian had been productive of most important benefits to their congregations. They had, he was happy to say, a Liberal Press in Ulster, which had raised its voice un ceasingly against the oppressor, and he hoped it would long continue to go forward in its useful and independent course. they owed a debt of gratitude. Of course, it was not to be expected that that newspaper, a political organ, would enter into the